RE: Kline article in PSCF

Bill Dozier (
Mon, 1 Apr 1996 12:38:45 -0500

At 11:12 AM 4/1/96, Peter Vibert is rumored to have typed:

> occasionally tell HS students that it's worth remembering that among the
> best people in the field of 'abiogenesis', there is no longer any consensus
> that *"even in principle"* can the (earthly) 'origin of life' be claimed to
> be understood (no matter what HS textbooks may say).
> To say this of course means stepping onto that infamous slippery slope,
> the "God of the gaps" approach... Although this view is in one sense
> philosophically disastrous (if it is taken to mean that God is not
> constantly "upholding the universe by His word of power..."), what if it's
> true in the sense that God did something very "unusual" at certain points
> during the history of the universe?? Is is ok to be (as Jack calls it)
> "mildly concordist"?? Is this a position that is 'faithful to science and
> Scripture', even if it's philosophically vulnerable??

It depends. The way I look at it, God certainly have and might have
performed actions that were discontinuous from what we would understand as
natural processes at one or more times to accomplish creation. I doubt that
many Christian scientists (note the lack of capitalization of the second
word) would have any problem with that. However, if we *insist* that there
must be "gaps" then we are standing on the aforementioned slippery slope.
Not only this, but the Christian basis for science is in danger. If it is
ultimately impossible to determine a non-miraculous origin of life, it
presents no problem; if not, it also presents no problem.

In summary, it's best not to have a theological stake in the outcome. It's
not necessary unless you insist on concordism. If you turn out to be right,
you gain little. If you turn out to be wrong, you lose a lot.

Bill Dozier
Scatterer at Large